Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Nerve Damage

Do you love me? I'm feeling a little alone. Maybe you didn't notice, but I had a bad few weeks. Did you notice? Feeling fine now -- this is just a mood. But I'm thinking I should be more honest. Part of which is that I'd like to be loved.

I hate to say it, but I think what sorta set me off was hearing from my father, even if indirectly. Isn't that sick? No, I don't want to talk about it. Haven't you been paying attention? Look at what I've been saying lately. Who the hell cares about Gaston Naessens? And while Global Warming and drug legalization and my take on conservative and liberal positions might have a certain interest to some folks, it's just me keeping my hand in at analysis. The real point of this blog is me and my effort to come to terms with isolation. Emotional and social. Yes, it is a choice. Thanks for that insight. You're a real genius. You don't know anything about me that I haven't told you. Does that sound arrogant, and just a bit hostile? As I say, it's about isolation.

But I'm over that little bout of depression. It's interesting to observe the difference in myself. More aggressive, more verbal, more engaged. A degree of optimism. This, even in the face of a not-unserious health issue. That triceps atrophy and weakness, and now a tingling in the arm, down to the fingers. A definite sensation of some sort in the armpit area. It might be because I've done a little rehab weightlifting -- agitated the nerve. And yeah, the right arm is pathetically weak, for triceps pushdowns. That used to be one of my really strong points.

I know a fellow whose daughter is a nurse practitioner, and he relayed to me that I definitely need to have this looked at. Their theory is that it's a herniated disc. Pressure on the nerve. Could be. I had in the back of my mind that it could be a growth, pressing on a nerve. I went onto WebMD dot com and came up with either cervical spinal stenosis, or brachial plexus neuropathy. The horror. The horror.

My father had spinal surgery when I was 12 -- three fused discs in his back. Pain for the rest of his life. That was a third of a century ago, though. Maybe procedures have gotten better. In any case, I will not be having surgery. Spinal decompression. I'll hang by my heels like a bat from the stalactites before I let them cut on my spine.

The point is, it's a bit invigorating. I'm good in a crisis. Useless most of the rest of the time. But crisis is good. Focuses the mind. I recall in a time of great pain, driving a long haul, feeling no urge to continue on in life. Then some road hazard made me swerve, and there were a dangerous few seconds when every reflex reacted with violent certainty. No doubt about it, my body wants to live. It's the purposeless pain that is so disheartening.

I bear in mind something I wrote here, a while back. Yes, instead of no. It might have passed by quickly, but I noticed it. Tonight someone wondered if I wanted to do such and such a thing later. Something distracted him from a need for me to answer. The answer would have been no. That's a mistake. But the thought of yes filled me with anxiety. Pathetic, I know. No nerve. And someone rolled no gi with R, the black belt. I wanted to do that. But I didn't ask. A mistake. We cure past regret by acting differently in the present.

Well, I said I needed to be more honest. All these secrets -- it's quite a burden. Wearying. Depressing. But I'm a conservative guy. I can't let go of the past. I grew up around secrets, and learned to keep them. I knew that if I was ever found out, I'd die. Found out about what? I think, about how much it hurt. You can't let the sharks smell blood.

The past, though. It's only the past. The poisonous, crippling past. Paralyzing.

Rise up and walk, you say.

So. Do you love me? Cuz I could really use someone to give me a neck rub, or crack my back. Strictly therapeutic of course. Or whatever.



Anonymous said...

Jack H. is loved from afar, for his words, his pain, his struggle, his isolation, his insight, his humanity. --R

Jack H said...

What about my brilliance?


Thank you.


brent said...

"It's" about control.

Of course we love you. But what does brilliance or anything else have to do with love? That's not why we love you.


Jack H said...

Don't you know, B? We're loved for a reason, if we're loved. Our beauty, or charm, or kindness. In my case, it must be my brilliance. I'm not at all charming, and my beauty takes some getting used to. Who loves unattractive creeps? Or maybe that's *why* they're loved. *Abuse me some more.*

Hm. I thought I was kidding. Now I've convinced myself. We have reasons for loving. We are loved for reasons.

The Christian cliche, *I love you brother* -- it always struck me as just something that they think they need to say. I won't say it's always that way. But love is not a feeling. It's a commitment. I'm sure I've said that before, far down in the pages of this blog. It strikes me, all of these glib postulations, as false. I always wanted to question, to argue such statements. Well, not always. But how is it not a man with a trumpet, saying "Look at me, and how good and loving I am"?

Well, that's just me, being cold. Not everything needs to be intense. Not everyone has the courage, or the opportunity, to act on their feelings. Sometimes the only way we can show love is by saying it. Like you've done, you two. Sometimes that has to be enough. Sometimes it is enough.

There are people that I see, almost daily, who need love. Some of the people I spend time with aren't even aware of it. I see their blindness. I see the defenses. And I am silent. My efforts here must seem almost unbearably self-centered. Indeed they are. But I share them because I think if you're not like that too, you'll still benefit from seeing how it is.

I'm not morbidly self-pitying. It's just that this is where I deal with these issues. In a kitchen, I do the work suited to that place. In a bathroom, there are things that need to be done. And in the world -- in the world, what is the work that needs doing?


brent said...

You've hit on my initial point. Obviously we are committed to you as we hang on your every word. But just because we get something out of it does not mean we love you less. Matter of fact, getting something out of it shows your value. I was thinking this a.m. that feeling God's presence and sensing Him speaking gives me value and lets me know I'm loved. It was Jesus' food to do the will of the Father. A deeper look implies that He is revealing to Jesus what His will is which gives Jesus value in the Father's eyes. He completed it by acting on what He sensed the Father saying.

We are the same way as we constantly look for validation from God and others. So with that said you have my admiration and validation. You are important. We've talked before about our purpose in the world. If you see something that needs done - i.e. encouraging someone in need - do it. This is our singing (like the birds), our glory, our glorification of the Father. It's what we do that brings fulfillment to ourselves. Which does not deminish the act. There...I came full circle. We love because it gives us value.

And words are our feeble attempt to express reality. There are two ways that we express ourselves here: we speak and we come read.

Jack H said...

I suppose that's the value of the laying on of hands. Maybe it's just the feeling it gives them all. Not all cripples will walk, but they can feel better.